Archive: Let Us Pray Without Ceasing

By Homer M. Martin, Jr., Pastor, Trinity Methodist Church, Muskogee, Oklahoma

The capacity to pray is one of God’s outstanding gifts to mankind. This relationship be­ tween Creator and created will manifest itself in a glorious and harmonious life for man as he responds to God. However, numerous people never find the fullness of life they so sincerely desire. Why? Their prayer life is inadequate.

Surely, all Christians know about prayer. But an alarming percentage of them aren’t involved in prayer, except on an infrequent basis. There is a “lip service” type of praying which traps some as they merely recite the Lord’s Prayer along with a congregation. There is the “trouble” type of praying wherein some will finally pray as a last resort for a problem solution after everything else has failed. There is also the “half-hearted” type of praying: when one prays because it seems to be the thing to do even though he doesn’t expect much, if anything at all, to happen.

The one who only offers a prayer occasionally really has very little knowledge of this blessing from God. The person who prays often and at great length by talking to God is not fully involved in prayer. Because total prayer has the two elements: speaking and listening. Prayer is communication, and communication needs conversation going in both directions. So it is with total prayer. Even as Christians would speak often to God, certainly, they should be as willing to listen. The motto could easily be “Give God equal time!” No doubt many have cried out that their prayers weren’t answered when the truth of the matter was that they didn’t listen and thereby missed the answer God gave to them.

Think for a moment on the following:

“And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)

This verse of holy Scripture may have been quite difficult to some in the past. But with an understanding of total prayer Luke 18:1 will have new meaning. Reflect a moment on Isaiah 26: 3 which reads, “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee.” This is another way of saying, “Pray without ceasing.” Both these scriptural references give us the knowledge that it is possible for a man to be constant in his prayer life, and that God provides the way. The apostle Paul told the church at Thessalonica, “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Today we should heed this admonition. We need total communication with God in the whole of our lives if we would have perfect peace.

Now let’s focus on a method from God to help us accomplish what He desires through prayer. We can seek wise counsel from Paul and read that he said to the church at Ephesus, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication …” (Ephesians 6:18). The phrase “in the Spirit” is the key. A person who is in-dwelt by the Spirit of God is able to be constantly in prayer because of the Holy Spirit’s presence within him. Some may speak of this relationship as being “baptized in the Holy Spirit,” or, as being “filled with the Holy Spirit,” or, as having “the second blessing.” No matter what terminology is used, if the result is a personal Pentecost, then the Holy Spirit of God is present in an individual. Only when this occurs, is a person able to enjoy a new, full, communication with God – and a new communication with others as God speaks through him.

Truly, Jesus means for us to be constantly in prayer. So let us be obedient to Him and pray without ceasing. Thereby we can live in the victorious life God has planned for us.

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